Questioning Virat Kohli’s undisputed position as India’s captain, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar said that the selectors should have met to decide whether to re-appoint him when picking the squad for the West Indies tour.
Expressing his views in his column for Mid-day, Gavaskar called the panel led by former India wicket-keeper MSK Prasad as “lame ducks”. "That they selected the team for West Indies without first having a meeting to select the captain brings up the question of whether Virat Kohli is the captain of the team at his or the selection committee's pleasure,” wrote Gavaskar.
He also implied about the “much below par” performance of Kohli as a captain at the World Cup that saw India losing a tightly contested semi-final to New Zealand. Gavaskar also said that by not following established procedure by reappointing Kohli as captain, the selectors have sent the message that he can retain the job for as long as he wishes to.
“To the best of our knowledge his (Kohli’s) appointment was till the World Cup. After that, it was incumbent on the selectors to meet even if it was for five minutes for his reappointment.
“Speaking of lame ducks, the Indian selection committee appears to be one. After the reappointment, he (captain) gets invited to the meeting for his views on the selecting the players for the team. By bypassing the procedure, the message that goes out is that while the players like Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik get dropped after below expectations performance, the captain continues despite much below par expectations where the team did not even reach the finals.”
Continuing his attack against the selection committee which consists of former players Sarandeep Singh, Devang Gandhi, Jatin Paranjape and Gagan Khoda besides Prasad, Gavaskar said that the lack of “stature” in the group was an impediment in their smooth functioning. None of the current selectors had long careers in India colours and in fact two – Paranjape and Khoda – didn’t play a single Test, featuring only in a few ODIs.